THEIR TOWN by Wilbur Daniel Steele


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This is as different from Diamond Wedding as that- in its turn- was different from his short stories. Most people will like it better. For me, the characters were less sympathetic, though there's a sense of compulsion of admiration for the central character, Hube Spooner, admiration tinged with a feeling that one could gladly shake him for his remoteness from the people who loved him most. A crude new sparsely populated campus near Denver in the 19th century is the setting for bringing together the principals:- Hube, of necessity a bookworm, since his mind was slow, his pockets empty; Kentucky Holm, a classmate at Argentite, adored daughter of the town's magnate; Cabot Cunningham, Back Bay Boston, idealist of a sort, bitten by the Western bug- and always an irritant to Hube, a temptation in worldliness to strictly reared Kentucky; Professor Oakes, the sole other Easterner, and his ""niece"" Amy, later his wife. Primarily, however, it is the story of Hube's almost single-handed- certainly single hearted -- effort to bring a ghost town back to life. A strange man, seemingly stolid, stubborn, insensitive; actually a dreamer who found his goal through persistence; and who- with Kentucky's death -- almost became the dead man his class notes reported him to be. And a strange story, following no established pattern, and demanding- in its circumlocutions of style, intense concentration on the part of the reader to arrive at the soundness of its portrait of one facet of the growth of America.

Pub Date: Aug. 7th, 1952
Publisher: Doubleday